We don't try and remain anonymous, when we stand up for freedom of speech? Then why remain anonymous, in your stance towards a free, open and uncensored internet? It is high time, we publicly support a completely open internet, and show that we truly belive in open expression.
On January 18th 2012, a very large chunk of the internet community came together to protest against SOPA and PIPA. While this was an issue restricted to USA, it demonstrated the how a well informed and active internet community can make a big difference. Many popular websites like Reddit and Wikipedia chose to black out for the day, standing for what they truly believe in. This protest was carried out by regular people like you and me. While the protest may have been a success, it is time to show the world that we still vigilantly stand by the same beliefs. This initiative simply tells the world that you are not afraid to protest these issues as a real individual and will support an open internet, whenever it comes under threat by corporations, government or any other entity.
freedom.txt is a small file that you keep in your domains root directory, much like a humans.txt file. It is basically a way to tell the world that you are non anonymously participating in supporting an open internet, and are not afraid to voice your support. Do include your real name, to show that you support this, without any reservations as an open individual. A sample freedom.txt may look like this:
Hi, my name is "your real name" and I own this website. I no longer wish to
stay Anonymous in the fight against internet censorship and those who want to
close down our internet.
An open internet is more important than the interests of nation states.
Governments have failed us because of ignorance and corruption. They must be
An open internet is more important than corporations. They have failed us
because of their natural greed. They must be changed.
An open internet is more important than security, copyright infringement,
terrorism or child pornography. We will not be fooled by the strategies of
fear employed by those who wish to censor us.
A closed internet is a tool of oppression. An open internet is a weapon of
mass creation. Pick your sides. Create your own freedom.txt on your websites.
You can download the latest freedom.txt from here. Feel free to fork it, and contribute to it. Please add the link to your freedom.txt and push it to the repo. We are trying to keep the repo up to date with as many links as we know of.
You can send your suggestion to "freedom.txt [at] wastedcode [dot] com". I will try and put some of them here. Also I am not very good with words. Please help me rewrite or add more content to this website. There is a git repo setup here that you can fork and contribute to.
Some of the current suggestions/discussion:
- A hacker news post discussing the value of such a file, along with more suggestions.
- A blog post that discusses the same. A bunch of people left some valuable suggestions. The author chose to link other freedom.txts in his own.
- Do I have to include my real name?
Yes. This is a true public support. You want to show that you are willing to Publicly uphold your opinions and completely support this. This is important as it shows that you are a real individual willing to fight censorship.
I have suggestions/want to participate, what should I do?
Right now there is no such forum that exists. Right now, I am ready to manually post suggestions here. Send me the suggestions, and I will try to post as many as I can.
Is there a formal spec/guideline?
No, at the time of writing no such thing exists. However it would be cool to have something like that.
How did this start?
Francis posted the freedom.txt on his website. And the internet took care of the rest.
Do I have to put the exact same text as above?
No. You can express your opinion in your own words. Till the time you have the freedom.txt in your domain root, and have your name in it, it should be good to go. For example, this author chose to write his own freedom.txt, while this one includes links to others.
From where can I get the latest freedom.txt
Micheal has setup a GIT repo where we keep the latest freedom.txt. Feel free to fork the repo, and push updates to it!